Arizona Basketball: Matt Korcheck Gives Wildcats 5th Player for No.1-Rated Class
Arizona landed the initial local product of the Sean Miller era as Cochise College forward Matt Korcheck—by way of Tucson's Sabino High School—committed to the program on Sunday, according to the Arizona Daily Star.
Korcheck, a 6'9" post man who averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds last year in becoming one of the nation's top junior college recruits, is a rarity in the college game in that he is seeking a redshirt season.
Korcheck's coming to Arizona, in part, because he's guaranteed to sit out for a year in order to further develop. He'll have two years of eligibility starting in 2013-14. And he is the fifth player in a class that is rated No. 1 in the country by ESPN.com.
The newest Wildcat originally committed to UTEP out of high school, but opted to head to Cochise, a national power located in the border town of Douglas, Ariz. Good move, as a higher tier of schools have since emerged as suitors.
This introduces an interesting situation with the current scholarship allotment.
Arizona is reportedly still in the hunt for several players, most notably Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell—whose father has known Miller for several decades—and Findlay Prep guard Amedeo Della Valle, who was scheduled to come to campus this Friday.
However, Korcheck—who picked Arizona over Oklahoma before even making his official visit—is taking the final open scholarship.
That leads back to questions involving point guard Josiah Turner and whether his indefinite suspension will eventually lead to his transfer.
Which school will Duquesne transfer T.J. McConnell pick?
Turner, who was the No. 2-rated point guard in the country coming out of high school, struggled to adjust to the college game as a freshman, averaging just 6.8 points and 2.4 assists, shooting 24 percent from three-point range.
He was suspended twice, the final time coming just before the Pac-12 tourney and lasting through the end of the season (though he was on the bench in street clothes in the season-ending NIT loss to Bucknell).
McConnell is going to choose this week between Arizona and Virginia.
The Della Valle situation is more up in the air, though his Findlay teammate Brandon Ashley is also headed to Tucson, and Findlay also produced Arizona shooting guard Nick Johnson.
If either McConnell or Della Valle—or both—decide to commit to Arizona, that means several transfers are a must, Turner's being the most obvious.
Second on the list of speculation would seem to be Ukrainian center Kyryl Natyazhko, who saw his minutes cut to almost nothing after beginning the year in the starting lineup. And he'll likely be behind returning sophomore Angelo Chol and incoming freshmen Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski and Grant Jerrett on the depth chart.
However, Natyazhko, who has not lived up to his 4-star hype, is heading into his senior year, and there are no reports of his departure.
Both Turner and Natyazhko may return, and Korcheck may be the final addition. All of these unknowns will be revealed soon
With McConnell's decision looming, this will be a crucial week in the shaping of Arizona's roster.
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